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1992 Acura Integra LS - Rookie Of The Year - Street Level

Joey Lee
Sep 1, 2008
Photographer: Chris Reno

Eric Dixon's '92 Integra LS
There are two undeniable truths in life: failure and success. Unfortunately, everyone experiences failures before achieving any amount of success. Life is ultimately a giant trial and error test. It's sort of like talking to that girl you like and then somehow getting stuck in the friend zone-you never really get what you want without putting up with the things that you don't. The same holds true in our community. Familiarizing oneself with Hondas without first learning what not to do is a rarity. It's a given that error-free builds are few and far between. Mistakes are often what make things great, or at least unique. Such are the things that make for great stories and give a car its voice. These stories are what drive Internet forums and keep the community alive. This is where Eric Dixon's story begins.

The Houston native was formally introduced to his '92 Integra as a graduation gift. "I never had any plans to modify the car," Eric says, "but with the persistence of my friends, I couldn't resist." A virgin to Hondas, Eric decided to arouse himself with knowledge by doing research on his new partner. "I picked up a magazine at a bookstore and saw a few DAs in them and got hooked on wanting to mod mine. Tony Fuch's DA was a huge inspiration, I fell in love and that pushed my need for speed," he says. With zero races under his belt and barely any seat time, Eric deemed his car "Da Rooki3" and went off on a stoplight-to-stoplight barrage against every car in the Lone Star state. Nobody's condoning such behavior, including Eric, but that might just be because he was typically on the losing end. The losses began to add up so Eric began to look into local speed shops for assistance. An intake and header were installed in hopes of adding some extra kick but it still wasn't enough power to win. Disappointed, he finally decided to hook up with a local shop to do something major: the ever-popular LS-VTEC conversion.

Thinking he had finally found the proper engine setup, Eric decided to modify his Integra's footwork. Weds Sport SA-90 rollers made their way onto the chassis in the 15x7 form. Attached to the Weds are BFGoodrich g-Force street radials up front and Yokohama ES100s in the rear. The stock, aging springs, and shocks were removed in place of Ground Control coilovers and Koni dampers. Energy Suspension's complete line of DA bushings was also installed to help keep essential suspension pieces in place.

The exterior had experienced gradual wear and tear over the years so Eric decided to respray the shell with a Nighthawk Black Pearl hue. Before sending it off to nearby Super Autobody, Eric contacted Mark's Garage to pick up a Wings West RS body kit. The Integra was overdue for some much needed weight loss so the bulky stock hood and hatch were switched out and VIS carbon-fiber pieces were bolted on. The OEM side and rear glass windows are also long gone and supplanted with lightweight FAL Plexiglas.

Eric thought he had the makings for a sleek, fast ride but something just wasn't right. "I wasn't happy with the setup at all," Eric says. "I wasn't running any good times at the track and after having bad experiences with a couple of local shops, I felt I had wasted thousands of dollars." Downtrodden, Eric turned to his good friends Bryan Jimenez and Juan Q of Jimenez Racing for advice. They both agreed that it was a good idea to have the car sent down to T1 Race Development, a relatively new shop spearheaded by SFWD champ Tony Palo. Everyone felt Tony was the guy who could finally finish Da Rooki3 and after a conversation with Tony himself, Eric agreed.

Unfortunately, transporting the Integra to T1 brought even more problems to light. "After hearing bad news after bad news from Tony with work that had been done wrong by previous shops, and spending more and more money, I came very close to just giving up on the car and selling it," Eric says. He credits his friends and family with helping him cope with the problems and seeing them through. It would be tough for anyone to not be able to drive their pride and joy after three years of hard work. Da Rooki3 would spend its final six months in a shop before Tony handed Eric his invoice. What exactly does an invoice with six months worth of work at T1 Race Development include? Well, start with a fortified B18B1 block paired with a Golden Eagle block girdle and sleeves, Wiseco pistons, and Pauter rods. Mated to the block is a B16A2 cylinder head with Integra Type R camshafts, STR cam gears, and Supertech valves, springs, and retainers. Sitting at the top of the LS-VTEC engine is an incredibly rare, super baller, ENDYN carbon-fiber intake manifold. Completing this orgy of automotive bliss is a massive T4/T67 turbo from Precision. The giant snail is accompanied by a TiAL 46mm wastegate and blow-off valve combo, and mounted to the head with a Full Race turbo manifold. Exhaust gases are churned through a T1 Race Development 4-inch down pipe and testpipe before they make their way out to the atmosphere via a Thermal R&D 3-inch exhaust. Fuel distribution is managed by an Aeromotive pump and pressure regulator and delivered to the Precision 1,200cc injectors with a Golden Eagle fuel rail. By now, it's likely such an invoice is getting ridiculously long, but as they say: "You gotta pay the cost to be the boss." Being a boss means that Eric can't allow his engine to overheat under pressure so a Fluidyne radiator was also installed in conjunction with a FAL slim fan and Mugen thermostat. An MSD Digital 6 ignition box directs spark along with MSD 8mm plug wires, and the Clutch Masters FX600 twin-disc clutch and flywheel beef up the stock transmission and ensure that all that power makes its way to the floor. With all of this power Eric expected to make, safety became a major issue so he installed a pair of Sparco seats and safety harnesses. Street and Strip was then called upon to fabricate a six-point rollcage to stiffen the 16-year-old chassis.

"I finally got some good news," Eric says. "We were able to make around 400 hp on 10 pounds of boost and 573 hp on high boost with the tires spinning off the dyno!" With better tires, even higher numbers are expected. Eric is quick to remind everyone that he is incredibly thankful for the friends and family who pushed him along the way when he wanted to give up on Da Rooki3. So, when it's all said and done, has Eric lost any more races? "The car has yet to see any track time, but I'm confident that I will be more than happy with the outcome when I get there."

Bolts & Washers
Propulsion:
B18B1 LS-VTEC
B16A2 cylinder head
Golden Eagle sleeves
Golden Eagle block girdle
Golden Eagle LS-VTEC kit
Wiseco pistons
Pauter connecting rods
Moroso oil pan
Moroso oil pickup
ITR oil pump
Fluidyne radiator
Fluidyne radiator cap
FAL slim fan
Mugen thermostat
Fluidampr harmonic damper
ITR camshafts
STR cam gears
Supertech valves
Supertech valvesprings
Supertech retainers
AEBS head studs
Power Enterprise timing belt
Aeromotive fuel pump
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
Precision 1,200cc fuel injectors
Golden Eagle fuel rail
Paxton fuel filter
Custom fuel sump
Precision T4/T67 turbo
TiAL 46mm wastegate
T1 Race Development intercooler piping
ENDYN carbon-fiber intake manifold
BDL throttle body
Precision intercooler
TiAL blow-off valve
Wiggins hose clamps
Hondata intake manifold gasket
Full-Race turbo manifold
T1 Race Development 4-inch down pipe
Thermal Research and Development 3-inch exhaust
T1 Race Development testpipe
MSD 8mm spark plug wires
MSD Digital 6 ignition
MSD Blaster coil
Skunk2 short shifter
Clutch Masters FX600 twin-disc clutch
Clutch Masters FX600 flywheel
Quaife limited-slip differential
Gator axles
Golden Eagle scatter shield

Stance:
Ground Control coilovers
Koni yellow shocks
Suspension Techniques antiroll bars
Energy Suspension bushings
Full-Race traction bars
Full-Race crossmember

Resistance:
Power Slot rotors
AEM pads
Goodridge steel braided lines

Rims & Rubber:
15x7 Weds Sport SA-90 (+38 offset)
205/50-15 BFGoodrich g-Force (front)
205/50-15 Yokohama AVS ES100 (rear)
ARP extended studs
Skunk2 lug nuts

Outside:
Nighthawk Black Pearl paint
Wings West RS body kit
VIS carbon-fiber hood
VIS carbon-fiber hatch
Carbon-fiber sunroof plug
FAL rear and side windows
JDM headlights

Bolts & Washers
Inside:
Sparco Speed seats
Sparco harnesses
Sparco steering wheel
Sparco hub
Street and Strip six-point rollcage
Turbo XS dual stage boost controller
Neptune engine management
Autometer boost, oil, and fuel pressure gauges
T1 Race Development dash kit

Props:
Tony Palo and T1 Race Development
Bryan and Juan at Jimenez Racing
Mark at Team Destiny
Braddah Nick Peshi
Frank
Josh
The VIPs at www.jspek.com
Peter and Sop at PYR
Drew
Kuzzin
Stephanie
Thomas
Everyone else who stood behind me

Owner Specs
Most Played in the iPod:
Tomorrows Bad Seeds

Favorite kicks:
Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars

Recent DVD:
Transformers

Bogus Traffic Ticket:
Street racing (more than a couple)

Mac Or PC:
PC, even though it's broken

Favorite Non-Honda:
Lexus IS F

Porn Star Pick:
All of them!

Hottest model:
Jasmin Alejandrino and Christine Mendoza

Sources

T1 Race Development
Rowlett, TX 75088
214-607-9022
http://www.t1racedevelopment.com
By Joey Lee
243 Articles

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